Today on Warriors Reloaded, we take a glimpse into the life of yet another one of T&T’s young Soca Warriors. Let’s focus our attention on the promising Tobago-born midfielder Keon Daniel.
Daniel was at that awkward stage in life, between adolescent and adulthood, when life took a devastating turn—his mother, who he described as his “hero” and “role model,” passed away.
The last of four children, Daniel has found a way to rise above his challenges.
“My mom was the person I used to look up to but she’s no longer here. I’m very close to my family so that got me through,” he said. “At first it was really hard, but then I got to understand that you can’t question things like that. Everything happens for a reason.”
For Daniel to successfully pursue his goals, however, he would have to leave his comfort zone.
“I used to play midfield for my school Signal Hill Comprehensive, but the reality is that football in Tobago was not at a high level. If I stayed there I would not have made the national team,” he admitted.
Determined and focused, Daniel gathered his belongings and boarded a flight to Trinidad—Marabella to be exact. He has been living there for the past two years.
Pursuing a dream
Daniel, described as a “rare midfielder who possesses a great technical eye for the ball,” has always had a passion for the sport. At the tender age of four, he would look on, with keen interest, at his older cousins playing football in the yard.
“I’ve always had a love for the game. In Tobago I used to kick bottle an ting. It’s like a family thing. My brother Kevin plays also.”
He asserted: “My parents encouraged me to play, especially my mom. She was behind me all the way.”
Those years of watching and practising ball would eventually pay off.
His impressive football skills also landed him a position as midfielder for United Petrotrin in the TT Pro League. It also earned him a two-week trial with Manchester United.
Daniel made his debut for the T&T national football team in 2007 and scored his first senior international goal against Guyana in January. His second came against El Salvador in March—both from free kicks.
Maybe it’s the fact that he lives on his own, or maybe it’s an innate ability, but Daniel certainly knows how to handle himself in the kitchen. “Of course I can cook,” he said confidently.
His favourite dish? Red fish and provision—which he cooks at least once a week.
That special someone
It was with a soft boyish tone that the 21-year-old spoke of his girlfriend of five years.
“She is very supportive of me. In relationships you have up times and down times. You have to learn to deal with it.”
In his spare time, Daniel said he loves to watch sports and “chill.”
Occasionally “hitting Sting Nightclub,” is also high on his social agenda.
Playing professional football in “the best clubs in the world,” is where this ambitious young man sees himself in the future.
His dreams may become reality sooner than later as he is due to have a trial with English club West Ham United. The Hammers reportedly spotted the midfielder during England’s friendly clash with T&T in Port-of-Spain earlier this year.